New look for Garden City’s Big Pool comes at a good time


GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — For the first time, Garden City’s Big Pool has some competition: an indoor water park that opened last winter.

Now that the pool is back under city management, they’ve made some cosmetic changes.

“It’s not necessarily something brand new that wasn’t there before,” said Jennifer Cunningham, Garden City’s assistant city manager. “It’s just updating what was there.”

That includes updates to the façade, the slides, and the pool floor.

“It looks clean, it looks great, whoever did this artwork on the building,” said Samantha Brink, who has been going to the Big Pool since she was a child. “It looks amazing, so I think it was well worth it.”

“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Daisy Padilla, another long-time Big Pool visitor. “They made it look very fun, very cool, just a good atmosphere.”

They’re cosmetic updates the city wanted to tackle after taking back management for the first time in more than a decade.

“The city decided to take this over,” said Cunningham, “and we have one opportunity to show the citizens that we’re going to give them the best possible experience that we can.”

The updates come at a good time. It’s the first season where Big Pool visitors will also be drawn to Parrot Cove, an indoor water park.

“That’s my next thing to do,” said Padilla. “We’re hoping to hit that place on Sunday, so we’ll see.”

Managers of the two pools say they work well together. Some of the same lifeguards work at the two facilities.

While they’re both the same basic premise, officials from each say they offer different experiences.

“I think that the Big Pool has the history behind it. People remember taking their kids,” said Molly Basham, Parrot Cove’s marketing director, “and we have the bigger attractions. We’re a brand new privately owned facility, so you get great things from both pools.”

The Big Pool is cheaper–only $2 admission versus up to $30 for Parrot Cove.

Residents say it’s worth the hundreds of thousands the city spent on repairs to the Big Pool.

“I think it’s worth it,” said Padilla. “For the community, it’s good. It’s good for all the kids here. Keeps them busy during the summer.”

Garden City officials say those major leak repairs in recent years will save the city a lot of money down the line. They estimate a savings of $80,000 dollars per year in chemicals alone.

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